Buccaneers address all three phases in final seven round mock draft

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Matt Araiza, San Diego State Aztecs Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

With the 133rd overall pick, the Buccaneers select  Matt Araiza – Punter (San Diego State)

Here comes the controversy. Yes, we have the Buccaneers are drafting a punter in the fourth round. All things considered, this really shouldn’t be THAT big of a shock.

We mentioned in the previous pick how general managers, particularly Jason Licht, will develop patterns with drafting. Another thing Licht has a history of when it comes to the draft is drafting special teams players as high as the SECOND ROUND in 2016 (see Roberto Aguayo), and even drafting two in four years with Matt Gay being a fifth-round pick in 2019.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some facts before anyone’s head explodes.

The Buccaneers have an absolutely solid unit from top to bottom, one of the best in football even. However, their special teams have left much to be desired, and Michael Spurlock is not walking through that door to save the day any time soon. The most glaring deficiency of the unit has been in punt coverage, and a lot of that can fall on the punter.

Should the Bucs draft Matt Araiza (aka Punt God), it could help solve this issue as the man has a bazooka attached to his hip, and the hangtime could allow for the coverage to get downfield and limit returns to win the battle of field position.

So yes, while Licht has drafted kickers, and they do have more of an impact on winning and losing games than punters (again see Aguayo, Roberto), this could be well worth the plunge. The Buccaneers do have two seventh-rounders to play with, but another team who also values special teams may snatch Araiza up after the fourth round. Given Licht’s history of special teams, he is unlikely to allow that to happen on his watch.